|COURTESY MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS|
BALTIMORE, Maryland -- The 2015 coach of the year in the FCS began last season with an interim label, only to shed it midway through the regular season in what was a spectacular turnaround for his team.
It would be hard for any interim coach to match what Portland State's Bruce Barnum accomplished in earning STATS FCS Coach of the Year - staging a six-win improvement, beating a pair of FBS opponents and leading the Vikings to the national playoffs for only the second time.
But Fred Farrier, the interim head coach at Morgan State, has made a solid impression over the first three months since he was elevated from offensive coordinator to replace Lee Hull, who resigned from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference program after two seasons to become the Indianapolis Colts' wide receivers coach.
The 44-year-old Farrier says he's "chasing championships" at Morgan State. As an assistant coach, he helped the Bears earn a share of the 2014 MEAC title and reach the FCS playoffs for the first time, with his offense setting 35 school records.
"He's been evaluated on a daily, weekly basis here to determine, hey, is he the right guy? That could happen at any time," said Morgan State athletic director Floyd Kerr, whose program is the only one among 124 FCS schools with an interim coach.